PETA asks USDA to investigate one of the world's largest animal auctions

MACON, Mo. - PETA officials are asking the U.S. Department of Agriculture to investigate and take action against the Lolli Bros. Livestock Market, Inc. 

The company holds one of the country's largest animal auctions and the primary auction for exotic animals and animals from zoos. 

According to PETA officials, they want the Department of Agriculture to investigate the winter Alternative Livestock Auction for several apparent animal-welfare violations. 

A concerned citizen recently documented the summer Alternative Livestock Auction. The video shows handlers roughly pulling and shoving several emus in the auction ring, dangling a two-year-old wallaby by the tail and hitting a camel in the head repeatedly. 

Officials said many animals were cramped in often filthy makeshift cages. 

A cat was documented frantically scratching the side of his cage and a zebra was pacing back and forth, a sign of severe psychological distress, officials said. 

"The neglect, crowded and filthy cages, and cruel handling at Lolli Bros. show why it's so important never to acquire animals from auctions, breeders, fairs, or anywhere else except animal shelters," says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Brittany Peet. "PETA is calling on authorities to investigate this evidence of inadequate enclosures and suffering animals and, if warranted, throw the book at this atrocious dealer."

The company had recently been cited for confining cats to cramped cages, for unsanitary cages, and for keeping rabbits in enclosures with sharp wire protrusions that posed a serious injury risk.

The auction is reported to have helped facilitate the sale of more than 10,000 animals in 2014, making nearly $3 million in profit. 

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